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    Barry Gimelstob, three-time state champion basketball coach at South Side High and member of the Newark Athletic Hall of Fame, died Friday at 75. He was the father of New Jersey tennis star Justin Gimelstob.

    Johsua, Justin and Russell Gimelstob remember their father, Barry Gimelstob, bringing them to the Shabazz High Gym to watch his basketball team play.

    Barry Gimelstob coached the team in the 1960s when it was South Side High School and led the school to Group 3 championships in 1962, 1969 and 1971 -- earning Coach of the Year honors twice.

    In those moments, three kids saw the impact their dad had on the Newark  community -- an impression burned into their memories that has lasted decades.

    "You can't sometimes really see someone that you're as close to as your father until you see them through the eyes of other people," Russell said. "Going back to Newark and seeing the way that other people saw him just kind of lit us up. It was on the court, but just as much as off the court. We never knew how much he helped people."

    Barry Gimelstob died from heart complications on Oct. 26 at the age of 75. He is survived by his sons, his wife of 47 years, Patricia, and his grandson, Brandon, as well as the Newark community. (Read his obit here.)

    He was a star athlete for Weequahic High School and took the coaching job at Shabazz after graduating from Long Island University. In 2005, he was inducted into the Newark Athletic Hall of Fame.

    "He meant everything to Newark and Newark meant everything to him," Justin said. "You could never take the Newark out of him."

    Although Gimelstob had a gift for basketball, when his sons began to excel in tennis, he immersed himself in the game and gave them all the tools they needed to succeed.

    "Nobody in our family had ever played tennis before," said Justin, who turned pro in 1996 after being the top youth player in the nation through his teen years.

    "My dad never did anything halfway. Once he saw that we had a passion for tennis, he tried to learn as much about the sport as he could. He surrounded us with the best people and the best opportunities."

    When he retired from coaching, Gimelstob formed the FBR Group in 1989. He brought the same sports passion to his agency, his sons said. Instead of building connections with his players, Gimelstob grew connections and friendships with his clients. He was the main agent for Guardian Life Insurance Company, and the two companies grew because of his dedication.

    "He passed away at the office," Russell said. "I was on the phone with him. He was going into work with his team and help his clients. He loved his team. He loved working. That's how he passed away. He was literally at the office."

    Memorial services will be held on Monday, Oct. 29 at 11:30 a.m. at Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel, 68 Old Short Hills Road, Livingston.

    In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Barry's name to The Valerie Fund, 2101 Milburn Ave., Maplewood, NJ 07040.


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    Cardi B's 1st proper N.J. concert was marred by disinterest and her need to divulge how tired she was

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    A reported commissioned by PSE&G finds many failures of the utility company's employees. Watch video

    Human errors and "failures of execution and common sense" led to a delay in restoring power to a New Jersey home where a dying woman's life-sustaining medical equipment depended on electricity, a utility company's probe found.

    Linda Daniels, 68, died of congestive heart failure at her home on the afternoon of July 5, the same day her power was shut off by Public Service Electric & Gas Co.

    An independent report commissioned by PSE&G found that "both human errors and systemic failures" in the company contributed to the delay in eventually restoring power to Daniels' Shepard Avenue house in Newark once the utility became aware of her fragile medical condition.

    "The tragic loss of Linda Daniels has left everyone at PSE&G with a heavy heart. ... We are truly committed to understanding the circumstances surrounding Mrs. Daniels' passing and making the necessary changes to ensure that we are fulfilling our commitment," said David M. Daly, president and chief operating officer of PSE&G.

    The company says it has already made sweeping changes in its culture to make sure this tragedy is not repeated.

    linda daniels family 2.jpgLinda Daniels, right, is seen with an unidentified family member in this photograph. Daniels, who depended on medical equipment, died after electricity was cut to her Newark home July 5. (Provided photo/Daniels Family) 

    A PSE&G crew cut off power at about 10 a.m. to Daniels' home where she depended on an electrically-powered oxygen concentrator to breathe, her family said. She died at 4:24 p.m. that same day.

    "She was trying to catch her breath -- she was gasping for air," one of her granddaughters said when describing the scene in the Daniels home on July 5. "She suffered and she passed right in front of us. She was gasping until the time she died."

    The temperature in Newark that day was in the 90s, according to weather records.

    A summary of the report which the utility commissioned says Daniels' family members called immediately after power was turned off, saying electricity needed to be restored for the ailing Daniels.

    The utility's call center employees "correctly determined that, based on Mrs. Daniels' health and safety, power to the Shephard Avenue residence should be restored. However, those employees made significant, but unintentional errors in how they entered and followed up on the reconnection order."

    According to the report, despite being called "multiple times" by Daniels' family members, "PSE&G employees failed to take steps to compensate effectively for the initial errors and to restore electric service in a timely fashion."

    However, attorney Ted Wells and his team "did not find that the initial disconnection of service to the Daniels' home was improper."

    The family had an overdue bill of $1,400, according to the report, but had just made a $500 payment. The company also said it was not aware of Daniels' condition and she should have been given a "Priority 4" designation because of her use of critical medical equipment.

    The report details a number of errors that followed after a reconnection order was issued.

    The first was a routing error sending the reconnection order to the company's gas department. Next, the report found, a representative failed, despite a reminder, to alert a dispatching team.

    When a technician did arrive at the Daniels' home around 2 p.m. July 5, they were not equipped to reconnect the power since it had been cut at the pole, not at the meter on the home.

    Finally, well after Daniels had died, a PSE&G technician arrived around 10 p.m. at the house to reconnect power but, the report said, "felt concerned for his safety and left without reconnecting power to the home. Power was restored the next morning."

    Death latest tragedy for N.J. family

    While Daniels family members were "unfailingly polite," and some PSE&G customer service reps were "appropriately polite," others were "dismissive" and "showed a notable lack of empathy," according to the report.

    Daly promises sweeping changes in the company as the result of the findings.

    "Step one is resetting our culture" including "a renewed commitment to customer service, focusing on ownership and accountability," he said.

    New measures toward greater accountability include changes already made in leadership and "more senior oversight of call center operations 24 hours a day."

    Daly said PSE&G is "moving aggressively to properly prioritize and escalate medical emergencies for priority attention." Technology is being upgraded so computer systems used by PSE&G's gas, electricity and customer operations are better integrated.

    He said the company is also expanding community outreach to make it easier for customers to let the utility know if they depend on life-sustaining equipment.

    Bill Gallo Jr. may be reached at Follow Bill Gallo Jr. on Twitter @bgallojr. Find on Facebook. Have a tip? Tell us.


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    A priest from the Archdiocese of Newark who advised the Pope has been ordered back to the U.S. following his arrest in England.

    A priest from the Archdiocese of Newark who advised the Pope has been ordered back to the U.S. following his arrest in England for crashing into a pregnant woman's car while driving at the twice the legal limit for alcohol. 

    Monsignor Anthony Figueiredo, 54, had worked closely with the Pope, advised cardinals and was a former spiritual adviser to student priests in Rome, according to the Daily Mail.

    The priest was recalled to the archdiocese "within the last week," Archdiocese of Newark Spokesperson James Goodness told NJ Advance Media.

    "He has been recalled to the archdiocese from earlier assignment in Italy," Goodness said.

    Goodness said he could not comment further on the incident, but added that Figueiredo, who is a media commentator on Church and Vatican affairs, was working overseas for nearly 10 years.

    The pregnant driver, Olivia Parfitt, 35, of Guildford, U.K., told the Daily Mail she was on her way home from work on Oct. 1 when a Nissan driven by Figueiredo hit the rear passenger side of her Range Rover on the M25, a highway in southern England.

    They both pulled over and Parfitt said she could see he was "visibly sloshed" and tried to say the accident was her fault. 

    "I could smell alcohol on his breath," she said in the article.

    She said Figueiredo told her he had to catch a flight, but then drove off after a few minutes while she stayed on the scene to wait for the police. She also snapped a picture of him before he drove away.

    Police stopped him further down the highway, administered the breath test and he was held in a police cell until he sobered up and was released, the report said.

    He was charged with driving a motor vehicle above the legal limit.

    He pleaded guilty at Guildford Magistrates' Court on Oct. 19 and was banned from driving for 18 months, the Daily Mail said.

    Parfitt and her unborn baby were fine following the accident and criticized Figueiredo's actions.

    'He's in the media talking about the importance of being a moral, upstanding person, but he gambled with other people's lives when he decided to drive when he had been drinking," she told the Daily Mail.

    He was visiting his mother in England when the accident occurred, the Daily Mail reported.

    Chris Sheldon may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find on Facebook.


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    A "rescue engine" had to pull the train into the nearby station where the passengers boarded another to head to Montclair.

    An NJ Transit train lost power during Monday evening's rush hour, leaving 1,500 riders stranded, hot and aggravated for over an hour.

    A 6:10 p.m. train bound for Montclair from Penn Station, NY, on NJ Transit's Montclair-Boonton line lost power and became disabled at 6:25 p.m., just east of the Newark Broad Street station, NJ Transit Spokesman Nathan Rudy said.

    A rescue engine was sent to the disabled train and pulled it into the nearby station "a little before 8 p.m.," Rudy said.

    The 1,500 riders got off and boarded another train that took to them to their destination. None of the passengers were treated for any injuries, Rudy said.

    "Crews were working passengers safety at all time and got them all safely on the other train to go home," he said.

    Trains on the line and others including the Morris & Essex line were delayed for as much as one hour following the incident.

    Passengers quickly took to social media to vent their frustrations about the power loss.

    One woman said there were two sick passengers and one fight during the outage.

    Another passenger said there was "no air" and that passengers were "passing out" while another said "it is crowded, uncomfortably hot and we all deserve a refund."

    Chris Sheldon may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find on Facebook.



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    U.S. News and World Report looked at colleges in 75 countries to select the best research universities on the planet.

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    Karen Oliver, 39, remains at large and will be charged with aggravated assault after she is found, police said

    Authorities are looking for a 39-year-old woman who allegedly threw bleach in a man's face during an argument in Newark last week. 

    oliver.jpgKaren Oliver (Newark police) 

    Karen Oliver will be charged with aggravated assault when she is found, Newark police said in a statement Tuesday.

    The altercation took place on Oct. 24 between 6 a.m. and 7:15 a.m. on the 100 block of Avon Avenue, a police spokeswoman said. A warrant has been issued for Oliver's arrest.

    The 39-year-old man was treated and released from a local hospital. 

    Police declined to provide information about the nature of the dispute or characterize the relationship of Oliver to the man.

    Anyone with information about Oliver's whereabouts is asked to call Newark's 24-hour crime stopper tip line at 1-877-695-8477 or 1-877-695-4867

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find on Facebook



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    The popular Charlie Brown's restaurants have struggled since the former head of the chain was caught accepting kickbacks.

    Popular family restaurant Charlie Brown's Fresh Grill closed down its Millburn location this weekend after 39 years in business. 

    The restaurant, formerly known as Charlie Brown's Steakhouse, announced the closure on its Facebook page, thanking its loyal customers.

    Charlie Brown's was sold to a new owner in 2011 after filing for bankruptcy. It opened its first location in Westfield in 1966.

    Known for its steaks, the eatery expanded its menu a few years ago to include new flavors and additional seafood and chicken options. 

    The chain still has locations in 14 other municipalities in the state, according to its website. None remain in Essex County. 

    Once boasting more than 30 locations, several restaurants were closed in 2010. The company struggled after the former head of the restaurant chain was sentenced to two years in prison for accepting more than $1 million in kickbacks from vendors in 2011. 

    Karen Yi may be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @karen_yi or on Facebook


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    Planned changes are a step in the right direction, protesters say. But they want to see more.

    Seton Hall University will bolster staffing for diversity courses and review how it responds to complaints of harassment and discrimination following a five-day student protest on campus. 

    The Catholic university will also give students more input on full-time faculty searches and allocate $20,000 to for activities celebrating Black History Month and other multi-cultural celebrations, it announced Tuesday. 

    "We are committed to making immediate changes that are aligned with Seton Hall's mission and dedication to provide a high-quality educational experience for all our students," interim President Mary Meehan said. 

    The changes address the demands of dozens of students who marched on campus and held a three-day sit-in at the administration building in South Orange. Protestors said they were upset with how students of color have been treated and the university's response to complaints about bias and discrimination. 

    Seton Hall's planned changes are a step in the right direction, said Christian Duran, one of the protest leaders. 

    "We like some of the thing we see, and we like some of the things that are now open to being discussed," Duran said. 

    However, the students want to see more concrete details and a specific timetable for the changes, Duran said. The $20,000 for multi-cultural events doesn't begin to address the need for programming, he said. 

    Senior university administrators had already been working with a committee, which includes students, to improve Seton Hall's inclusion and diversity programming. But the protesters said those initiatives fell short and they felt all other options were exhausted. 

    About 44 percent of Seton Hall undergraduate students self-identify as students of color, according to the university. 

    Adam Clark may be reached at Follow him on twitter at @realAdamClarkFind on Facebook.  


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    Police officers fired at the suspect when they saw him fleeing the scene, investigators said at the time

    A 23-year-old Newark man has admitted he killed another city resident, then ran and hid in a dumpster.

    Joan Aguirre (cropped)Joan Aguirre. (Essex County Prosecutor's Office)

    Charged with murder in the Feb. 1, 2017, slaying of Victor Brantley, Joan Aguirre took a plea deal on lesser charges of aggravated manslaughter and unlawfully possessing a weapon, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.

    Police responding that evening to the 100 block of Fourth Avenue found Brantley, 26, and another man suffering from gunshot wounds.

    Brantley died from his injuries, while the other man survived, according to the prosecutor's office.

    Investigators at the time said a city police officer and a county sheriff's officer both fired their weapons after they saw Aguirre running from the scene. No one was injured by the officers' gunfire, authorities said.

    Police later found Aguirre hiding in a dumpster near Kearny Street and Broadway, according to statements by the prosecutor's office at the time.

    Aguirre, whose case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Carlo Fioranelli, is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 28, 2019, in front of Superior Court Judge Verna G. Leath in Newark.

    The name of his defense attorney was not immediately available Tuesday.

    Thomas Moriarty may be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriartyFind on Facebook

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    "You can't arrest your way out of addiction," Lynn Regan said of a solution to the opiate epidemic.

    Daniel Regan, a recovering addict who was once a slave to heroin and crystal meth, knows the system all too well.

    He's been arrested and through several rehab facilities only to be back out on the street doing the same thing he always did -- get high.

    "He was dragged through the system like a freight train," his mother, Lynn, said.

    After his fourth stint at a treatment facility, Daniel and Lynn Regan decided to break the vicious cycle by creating their own facility that specializes in long-term treatment options. In 2012, they founded the CFC (Coming Full Circle) Loud N Clear Foundation in Farmingdale, which provides a number of recovery programs tailored to fit each individual addict's needs. Several years later, the group ran a pilot program with the Howell Police Department, which partners trained "recovery coaches" with those addicted to drugs who come face-to-face with law enforcement. 

    "You can't arrest your way out of addiction," Lynn Regan said in a recent phone interview.

    The top law enforcement officer in Monmouth County agrees.

    It's why the county's prosecutor, Christopher Gramiccioni, says he created the "Cuffs to Beds" initiative in 2017. The program provides people arrested with certain drug offenses a path that helps them avoid the justice system by getting treatment. 

    As the heroin and opioid epidemic continues to sweep through New Jersey, law enforcement agencies across the state are finding new ways to fight the problem. In Ocean County, for example, the county offers the "Blue Hart (Heroin Addiction Recovery Treatment) Program," which allows drug addicts to enter several police departments in the county and turn in their drugs in exchange for help. The West Orange Police Department in Essex County offers a similar program.

    And earlier this month, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced $1 million in federal grant funding to help expand his "Operation Helping Hand" program to help bridge the gap between law enforcement and recovery options for "individuals at risk for drug overdoses."

    Monmouth County has been one of the hardest hit in the Garden State when it comes to drug-related overdoses. In 2017, the county had 151 overdose deaths, nearly four times the number of highway fatalities. The county is likely to exceed that number in 2018.

    Under the Cuffs to Beds umbrella, Gramiccioni has signed on police chiefs in 10 of the 42 departments in the county, including the county's largest, Middletown.

    Each department is free to implement its own program, but they must work with an organization that provides recovery coaches, a recovering addict with at least one year of sobriety who is trained to voluntarily help another addict navigate the treatment system. 

    Gramiccioni said he provides the police chiefs with options and they pick the organization that fits their individual needs. Deputy First Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Michael Wojciechowski keeps tabs on all the cases with the individual departments.

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    Some departments, like Hazlet, will file charges right away and once the defendant completes treatment, will dismiss those charges. Other departments, such as Belmar, will shelve the charges and use them as an extra incentive to get those individuals successfully through treatment.   

    "These (police chiefs) all get credit for looking forward and not backward," Gramiccioni said.

    He said between 55 to 65 percent of those reached under the Cuffs to Beds initiative have accepted some form of treatment.

    "If you think of what we did before, these people would just get released or just leave a scene after being revived (from an overdose), maybe every once in a while they get taken to a hospital and then they're back out using with the same friends and having the same addiction problems that they were having before," he explained. "I'll take the double instead of the home run."

    The program is mainly for people addicted to drugs who have non-violent drug possession charges, Gramiccioni said. Some shoplifting cases, where it's clear the motive was to fuel a drug habit, can also qualify, he said.

    But those charged with second-degree offenses or cases where there are victims most likely won't get the opportunity, Gramiccioni explained.

    In Belmar, police Chief Andrew Huisman said his program has successfully gotten 57 people to complete treatment since he launched it in 2017.

    Belmar police chiefBelmar police Chief Andrew Huisman. (Alex Napoliello | NJ Advance Media for 

    "We had no choice but to take some type of action," Huisman said. "Back in the fall of 2016, it was clear we weren't arresting our way out of anything. We were arresting the same people over and over again."

    The police chief in Howell, Andrew Kudrick, said he was being "hit left and right with overdoses" when he took over the department in 2015. The problem, he said, came to a head when one of his officers who was responding to an overdose call got into a car crash with another person who was under the influence. Soon afterward, he connected with CFC to enlist the help of recovery coaches.

    Now, Kudrick said, "whenever there is an overdose, police, fire and EMS get dispatched to it and a recovery specialist is dispatched to the scene. We want to capture them when they're at their most vulnerable."

    Law enforcement officials conceded that, while they are great at maintaining the law and public safety in their towns, they are not as effective as someone who's been through addiction and is trained to help another addict. 

    The proof is in the numbers, Regan said. Seventy-one percent of people referred to CFC by police since 2016 have agreed to seek treatment. 

    Once those with addictions are detoxed, Regan said, they are invited to continue to seek recovery with CFC's five-year program. Most of the individual's expenses are covered by insurance, and if the person doesn't have insurance, the recovery coach will help get them into a facility that accepts people who don't have insurance.

    The goal, she said, is to get those suffering from addiction into long-term treatment to break the cycle of addiction. 

    "You hit a lot of walls because of the traditional system," Regan said. "It's very difficult for police departments. There are so many regulations, certifications and laws that say you can't go outside of this little sandbox. ... It's very hard to break that mold." 

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find on Facebook.

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    The underground club in Newark is one of the most prominent venues for alternative and dark wave music on the East Coast

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    Tanya Freeman will preside over a hospital that was already in the state's crosshairs before four infants developed a hospital-acquired infection.

    Gov. Phil Murphy has selected a new board chairwoman and a state-ordered infectious disease specialist has been hired at University Hospital, where the state continues to investigate an outbreak at the Newark facility's neonatal intensive care unit.

    Tanya Freeman, a family law attorney who has served on the hospital's board of directors since 2014, was named its chairwoman Wednesday, according to Murphy's announcement.

    Freeman will preside over a hospital that was already in the state's crosshairs before four infants developed a hospital-acquired infection caused by the Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria last month. 

    In July, Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal named a monitor to assess the state's only public hospital's financial stability and evaluate its safety practices after flunking a safety report card and making some management decisions the state found questionable. 

    Anonymous 'concerned employee' alerted state to bacteria outbreak 

    On Oct. 1, an anonymous employee contacted the state health department to report the outbreak, including one child who died after she was relocated to another hospital. The cause of death is under investigation, the health department said.

    Hiring a full-time infection control practitioner was one of the state's requirements after inspectors found "major infection control deficiencies," inside the unit, Elnahal said.

    On Tuesday, the hospital named Joan Hebden, a nurse from the IPC Consulting Group in Baltimore, to work 36 hours a week observing infection control practices, according to a letter to hospital CEO John N. Kastinas approving the hire. 

    Freeman replaces Robert Johnson, dean of the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, whom Gov. Chris Christie appointed before he left in mid-January. Johnson replaced former Gov. Donald DiFrancesco, who resigned amid questions about the duties he gave his former assistant.

    Murphy said he picked Freeman because of her "extensive background working for the best interests of children and families through her law practice and her community service."

    Freeman is a partner in Weiner Law Group, LLP, in Parsippany and co-chair of its family law department. Freeman also spent fifteen years in banking and insurance directing operational audit teams for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Prudential Healthcare and Wells Fargo, according to her LinkedIn profile.

    The West Orange resident has served on the boards for Salvation Army in Jersey City and the University of Phoenix, Jersey City Campus. 

    "I take great pride in my contributions to University Hospital and the communities it serves, and I am honored to continue my service as chair," she said. "I look forward to continuing to work with my fellow board members, medical practitioners, and community members to provide the best possible care to everyone who walks through our doors."

    The outbreak at University Hospital is unrelated to the 26 confirmed cases of adenovirus in pediatric residents at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, where 10 children have died.

    Susan K. Livio may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @SusanKLivio. Find Politics on Facebook.

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    Prosecutor's Office concluded the men believed the victim had stolen from him and used three handguns to shoot him to death.

    Three men were convicted in connection with a 2013 murder of a Plainfield man in his home according to the Union County Prosecutor's Office. 

    The jury convicted Alejandro Lopez, 30, and Rodney Rosario, 33, of murder, felony murder, burglary, two weapons offenses and two counts of both criminal restraint and aggravated assault on Tuesday after deliberating several days following the month-long trial.

    The two men and another Plainfield man, Mayrenid Hidalgo-Bautista, 31, were also found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. 

    Lopez and Rosario face up to life in prison, and will be sentenced Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Hidalgo-Bautista faces up to 30 years in prison.

    Back in 2013, police responded to a home in the 700 block of East Sixth Street and found 28-year-old Jose Disla-Cordero shot to death in his basement.

    Following an investigation with Union County Prosecutor's Office, officials from the FBI's Newark division arrested Lopez and Rosario in Miami. They were taken to the Union County jail. 

    During the trial, it was revealed that the killing was a retaliation hit. The three men allegedly believed that the victim stole from them, prosecutors said.

    Prosecutors say the defendants burst into Disla-Cordero's home that Sunday evening and held two other adults at gunpoint in the basement while using three handguns to shoot the victim to death. 

    A fourth suspect, who authorities did not name, but who was identified during the trial, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder before the trial. 

    Taylor Tiamoyo Harris may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ladytiamoyo.

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    Associated Humane Societies in Newark will no longer accept animals from the city as of Nov. 8.

    Once under fire for its failed state inspections and reports of gruesome conditions, Newark's independently-run animal shelter announced on Wednesday it will no longer accept animals from the city or its residents beginning Nov. 8.

    John Bergmann, acting executive director of Associated Humane Societies, said the city has not paid its bills since July and the shelter could no longer afford to continue their services.  

    "By not paying what is due, the city of Newark is acting contrary to the interests of its own citizens and animals," he said in a statement. "It's not right that the city expects to get our services for free."

    The shelter, located on Evergreen Avenue, contracts with 14 municipalities but its largest contract -- $675,000 a year -- is with Newark. Bergmann said the shelter has been operating without a contract with the city since the beginning of the year. 

    "Newark is not paying as part of a negotiation tactic. They think, if they don't pay, AHS will have to accept whatever the city eventually decides to pay," he said. 

    A spokesman with the city said he was checking with the administration for a response. 

    The Newark shelter was previously criticized for its conditions and cited by state and local health officials for multiple violations including holding dogs in poorly ventilated conditions and having questionable protocols for euthanizing animals.

    Its former executive director, RoseAnn Trezza, was charged with 16 counts of animal cruelty and accepted a plea deal that bans her from the shelter for two years. 

    Members of Newark's City Council questioned the contract late last year and demanded the shelter make improvements. Newark provides the shelter with 40 percent of its revenues, city officials said.

    Shelter representatives said they have made numerous improvements to its facility since the inspections. 

    "To me, it's two sided: in the short term, it's obviously not good because they (the animals) don't have a place to go," Alan Rosenberg, who used to volunteer at the Newark facility and is a shelter reform activist, said of the news. On the other hand, he said, "it's going to force the city to do something ...  they would be forced to come up with a solution."

    Rosenberg said under state law, municipalities must impound animals and find a place to house them for at least seven days. 

    AHS has two other facilities in Tinton Falls and Forked River, including the Popcorn Park animal sanctuary.

    Karen Yi may be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @karen_yi or on Facebook

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    Cities like Irvington, Paterson and Plainfield boast a respectable number of historic properties, as does Trenton.

    Count State Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) among a group of lawmakers looking to the past to preserve New Jersey's future.

    Specifically, the legislators hope a proposed tax credit would impel homeowners and developers to spur new growth in tired areas by rehabbing the many historic buildings dotting the landscape of the Garden State.

    Under provisions of a bill approved unanimously by the Senate State Government, Waging and Historic Preservation Committee, renovators of certain buildings would qualify for credit worth up to 25 percent of their total project - an incentive that could save homeowners a hefty $25,000 over a 10-year span.

    The amount would not be subject to caps for developers, but a project would require at least $5,000 in rehabilitation expenses to qualify.

    The 23 N.J. towns with the most old homes, ranked

    To be eligible, properties would have to be listed or located in the National Register of Historic Places, or the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.

    Cities like Irvington, Paterson and Plainfield boast a respectable number of these properties, as does Trenton. Turner singled out the city as an example of how the planned credit could serve as a driver for economic growth.

    "This is indeed a way to preserve our history," she said. "We have so many of [these buildings] right here in our capital city."

    Earlier this year, analyzed the latest Census data, ranking municipalities with the highest percentage of housing units built before World War II. Many were older cities or townships, particularly in the northern part of the state.

    Trenton came in at No. 5.

    The push for a historic-preservation tax credit has a murky history of its own, going back to 2011, when former Gov. Chris Christie vetoed it as part of a package of post-recession bills.

    Lawmakers persisted over the years, but no similar legislation has gained traction until now, when Gov. Phil Murphy has identified historic preservation as a key way to stimulate the economy.

    Earlier this month, the Democratic leader cited $2 billion in revenues other states have collected by tapping into this resource.

    More than 30 states already have enacted tax credits to prompt historic rehabilitation, advocates at last week's committee hearing testified. Of the 13 colonies that originally made up our young country, only New Hampshire and New Jersey are hold-outs.

    The measure's sponsors wisely included language requiring state historic-preservation officials to report on how many credits have been awarded, how they have been distributed geographically, and how effective they've been.

    We have no crystal ball, but based on what we've seen, the bill would create new building jobs, generate employment taxes and increase the value of properties already on the tax rolls. It deserves the support of the full Legislature as it moves forward.

    Bookmark Follow on Twitter @NJ_Opinion and find Opinion on Facebook.


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    Batteries not included.

    The Strong National Museum of Play is located in Rochester, New York. Every year, it inducts a select few iconic toys into its National Toy Hall of Fame. The selections range from brand-specific items like the Atari 2600 game system (2006) to board games like Candy Land (2005) and generic playthings such as bubbles, bicycles and cardboard boxes.

    This year's inductees will be announced on Nov. 8 and will be selected from the following nominees:

    702c30ca12b99606e1029af0b975dc0d.jpgWill the Magic 8 Ball make the Toy Hall of Fame? "Cannot predict now." 

    * American Girl dolls
    * Pinball
    * Chalk
    * Sled
    * Chutes and Ladders
    * Tic-Tac-Toe
    * Fisher-Price Corn Popper
    * Tickle Me Elmo
    * Magic 8 Ball
    * Tudor Electric Football
    * Masters of the Universe
    * Uno

    New Jerseyans should particularly pull for the sled and electric football nominees, as both were invented in the Garden State; read more about them here and here.

    The museum inducted three toys in 2017: the Wiffle ball, the paper airplane and Clue. It's going to be hard to choose from among those 12 strong contenders.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    What was your favorite toy growing up? Aside from a special stuffed animal or doll friend, we all had favorite things to play with. While many have stood up to the test of time, others have slipped from our memories.

    Here's a gallery of toys and games from the past you might instantly recognize and others you may have forgotten about. Some are still around, while others have gone away for a variety of reasons.

    And here are links to other galleries you might enjoy:

    Vintage photos of pastimes and games in N.J.

    Vintage photos of N.J. Americana

    Vintage photos of how things have changed in N.J.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

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    The owner of Jenny's Deli in Newark has already pleaded guilty to the SNAP benefit fraud scheme

    The father of the owner of a Newark grocery store admitted Tuesday he played a role in a six-year food stamp fraud scheme that cheated the government out of about $888,000.

    Manuel Venegas, 54, of Newark, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit fraud, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

    Venegas faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced March 6.

    Elizabeth shopkeeper admits to $1M food stamp fraud

    His daughter, Maria Teresa Venegas, pleaded guilty to the same charge in September and is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 19. She was the listed owner of Jenny's Deli.

    Manuel Vanegas took part in the scam between March 2015 to March 2018 as an employee of the business. During that time the deli stole $573,199.43, authorities said.

    Though SNAP recipients are only allowed to use their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards to buy certain food items, the deli instead gave some customers cash by entering made-up dollar amounts for their purchases.

    Authorities began looking into Jenny's Deli when they noticed an unusually high number of SNAP transactions. 

    In an example provided in charging documents, a SNAP recipient only bought $5 in items. Venegas, though, debited $75 from the person's account, which was then credited to the deli's bank account. He gave the SNAP recipient a portion of the proceeds and the business kept the rest.

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find on Facebook.



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    Samson Hum was crossing Bloomfield Avenue near Lloyd Road in Montclair around 6:30 a.m., officials said.

    A Montclair man died early Wednesday after he was struck by two cars as he attempted to cross a street in the township, authorities said. 

    Samson Hum, 52, was crossing Bloomfield Avenue near Lloyd Road in Montclair around 6:30 a.m. when he was hit by the vehicles. He was pronounced dead at the scene, acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens said. 

    Neither driver has been charged. 

    The Essex County Prosecutor's Office and Montclair Police Department are investigation the crash, and ask anyone with information to call the tip line at 1-877-847-7432. 

    Sophie Nieto-Munoz may be reached at Follow her at @snietomunoz. Find on Facebook.

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    Two other officers involved in the lawsuit will get promotions for a year, and the sixth will get nothing.

    A tiny borough in Essex County agreed to pay $325,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by six officers who claimed the force was run by a "megalomaniacal despot."

    Roseland, home to approximately 6,000 residents in the western part of the county, agreed to promote two of the officers from sergeant to lieutenant and adjust their pay, according to the settlement, which was obtained through the state's Open Public Records Act.     

    richard-mcdonoughRoseland Police Chief Richard McDonough. (Star-Ledger file photo)

    But those two officers, Terry West and Charles Ribaudo, will resign from the force one year after they're promoted, according to the terms of the settlement.

    As part of the settlement, Officer Glenn Carnevale received $50,000 while Officers Kevin Donaldson and Joseph LaPosta each got $30,000.

    The remaining officer, Freddie Mitchell Jr., apparently didn't receive any compensation as part of the settlement, which also included $215,000 for attorneys fees.

    The wide-ranging lawsuit, filed on Oct. 20, 2014, accused Chief Richard McDonough of using on-duty personnel and police vehicles for personal errands, altering reports to manipulate crime statistics, covering up accidents involving borough officials and using the Internal Affairs process as a "tool of terror."

    The lawsuit also named the borough of Roseland and Capt. Kevin Kitchin.

    The settlement acknowledges the sum to the plaintiffs is compensation for "alleged emotional distress and any physical manifestation thereof."

    The defendants also do not admit any wrongdoing, and the settlement states that it is "solely for the purpose of economic expediency."

    An attorney for the officers could not be immediately reached for comment.

    An attorney who represented the borough declined to comment. 

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find on Facebook.

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